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cmb0252
06-25-2013, 04:35 PM
The Twins went 63-99 in 2011 and ended up with the 2nd overall pick. In 2012 they went 66-96 and ended up with the 4th overall pick. Currently the Twins are 34-38 and if the regular season ended today they would have the 11th overall pick. Improvement right? Not so fast.

In 2012 the top tier of the draft was considered 6-8 deep (depending on the expert). With the number 2 overall pick the Twins were guaranteed to get a player in that tier. The Astros skipped on Buxton (considered the top player in the draft) and took Carlos Correa to save money to spend else where. Buxton is considered a top 5 prospect with some experts ranking him #1.

In the recent 2013 draft the top tier of the draft was considered 3 deep. With the number 4 overall pick the Twins were not guaranteed a top tier player and ended up not getting one. While Stewart is a hell of a consultation prize how much value did the Twins miss out on because of winning two extra games?

With the third overall pick the Rockies took Jonathan Gray who was considered the top talent in the draft according to some experts. A big college RHP who can hit 100 on radar guns and should get to the bigs pretty fast. Grays time line lines up well with our current minor league talent. Also, while Stewart signed at slot Gray signed for 826k under slot which can go a long ways with the new draft rules.

There is a long way to go tell the 2014 draft but the draft is shaping up to be one of the strongest class. Some experts expect the top tier to be 7-9 deep, which would put the Twins outside of that window two years in a row. Last year the Twins held onto their trade able assets at the deadline because they didn't get an offer they wanted. Free agency is young but if that happens again this year it might cement their draft position.

Losing is losing and finishing under .500 is under .500. My question for you is; Is winning a few extra games worth it in the long run for the franchise?

ashburyjohn
06-25-2013, 04:47 PM
Baseball is a business, but it's also a sport. Intentionally tanking, whether at the individual player level or at the front office level, seems contrary to being sporting. It bothers me to consider it, even though the incentive is clearly there.

IdahoPilgrim
06-25-2013, 04:47 PM
Losing is losing and finishing under .500 is under .500. My question for you is; Is winning a few extra games worth it in the long run for the franchise?

For me, yes. You try to win every game - whether you are challenging for the title or whether you are trying to finish 10 games under .500 instead of 11. I know some will say I am being short-sighted and will hammer me for not taking the long view, but's that's the way I feel.

Reason #1: You never want to build a ethos where losing is acceptable or tolerated. I remember talking to a minor league club owner a number of years ago, and he was relating something he was told by the Cardinals - they always want to build a winning mentality into their players, whether it is at the majors or in Single-A. I agree with that.

Reason #2: When people buy tickets to a game, they are paying for the players to put their best effort out there on the field; they are paying for the team to try to win. If the team is not trying to win, for whatever reason, you've broken faith with the people for whom the game exists in the first place. No amount of promised future glory justifies that, in my opinion.

So while I understand the reason for the question, my answer is yes - winning is always worth it.

Riverbrian
06-25-2013, 04:52 PM
The Twins went 63-99 in 2011 and ended up with the 2nd overall pick. In 2012 they went 66-96 and ended up with the 4th overall pick. Currently the Twins are 34-38 and if the regular season ended today they would have the 11th overall pick. Improvement right? Not so fast.

In 2012 the top tier of the draft was considered 6-8 deep (depending on the expert). With the number 2 overall pick the Twins were guaranteed to get a player in that tier. The Astros skipped on Buxton (considered the top player in the draft) and took Carlos Correa to save money to spend else where. Buxton is considered a top 5 prospect with some experts ranking him #1.

In the recent 2013 draft the top tier of the draft was considered 3 deep. With the number 4 overall pick the Twins were not guaranteed a top tier player and ended up not getting one. While Stewart is a hell of a consultation prize how much value did the Twins miss out on because of winning two extra games?

With the third overall pick the Rockies took Jonathan Gray who was considered the top talent in the draft according to some experts. A big college RHP who can hit 100 on radar guns and should get to the bigs pretty fast. Grays time line lines up well with our current minor league talent. Also, while Stewart signed at slot Gray signed for 826k under slot which can go a long ways with the new draft rules.

There is a long way to go tell the 2014 draft but the draft is shaping up to be one of the strongest class. Some experts expect the top tier to be 7-9 deep, which would put the Twins outside of that window two years in a row. Last year the Twins held onto their trade able assets at the deadline because they didn't get an offer they wanted. Free agency is young but if that happens again this year it might cement their draft position.

Losing is losing and finishing under .500 is under .500. My question for you is; Is winning a few extra games worth it in the long run for the franchise?

It's an interesting question... Draft position is important however I'd have to say winning games is more important... and I'd add a big "Kind Of" attached to that definite statement I just made.

One extra win every 10 games is a 16 game differential and when you look at the margins between first and last... 16 games is a huge dent and within every teams reach.

Yes the extra wins matter because even the worst team on paper is closer than most think and the teams toward the bottom need to learn to become winners and they should go for it every day.

And... Just because the draft experts label a draft 3 or 8 deep... It doesn't mean they are right. Kohl Stewart may end up not panning out or he may be better than Appel or Gray. That stuff happens every year in the draft.

drjim
06-25-2013, 05:19 PM
If the draft guaranteed talent would be dispersed in a linear manner perhaps there would be some benefit to losing. But this obviously not the case.

Win games and scout well.

Monkeypaws
06-25-2013, 05:20 PM
It has sure taken a while for that strategy to pay off for Pittsburgh or Kansas City.

There is also the culture of winning to consider.

cmb0252
06-25-2013, 05:32 PM
It has sure taken a while for that strategy to pay off for Pittsburgh or Kansas City.

There is also the culture of winning to consider.

It didn't take the Rays or Nationals very long. Every team in baseball has gone through a rebuilding phase. Yes, even the stankyees. When talking about rebuilding around here pointing to the Royals/Pirates has become very popular. Just like how I pointed at the Rays and Nationals. In reality one has nothing to do with each other. Each team rebuilds differently.

Oxtung
06-25-2013, 05:50 PM
It didn't take the Rays or Nationals very long. Every team in baseball has gone through a rebuilding phase. Yes, even the stankyees. When talking about rebuilding around here pointing to the Royals/Pirates has become very popular. Just like how I pointed at the Rays and Nationals. In reality one has nothing to do with each other. Each team rebuilds differently.

It sure did take the Rays and the Nationals a long time. The Rays had 10 straight years of 90+ losses before finally getting above .500 in 2008. The Nationals first 8 seasons in Washington saw 7 seasons below .500 and the eighth was at exactly .500. That included back to back 100+ loss seasons.

Prospects are volatile commodities. It isn't the first wave that turns a franchise around. It takes many seasons of losing to accumulate enough good prospects that enough pan out to make a difference.

B Richard
06-25-2013, 05:55 PM
Some thoughts.

Was the 2012 draft really considered 6-8 deep? I had the impression that Buxton was clearly the highest upside and that Appel was the elite arm. At that point, other guys were considered great but not like those two.

The Nats got exceptionally lucky, IMO, to happen to be rebuilding when Harper and Strasburg fell into their laps in the draft. Their success has been undoubtedly aided by it.

Never tank. Maybe it's the way I was raised, but even the thought of throwing away games, even if it meant better draft picks (whose success and development are NEVER guaranteed) absolutely disgusts me. Losing is never acceptable. Ever. You put your best foot forward and try to win with what you have.

If this were the NBA or NFL, where draft picks are surer bets and can make an immediate impact, you might have a better case for dropping a few extra games in years like this. In baseball though it's really unfathomable.


edit: I find it highly unlikely that the Twins finish this season as only the 11th worst team in the league. I see them in the 6-8 range, at best.

diehardtwinsfan
06-25-2013, 06:08 PM
Tank it intentionally? No.

But... this was one of the reasons why I wasn't in too much of a hurry to see Arcia and Gibson promoted, though I do think Gibson in particular earned it. While he was doing well, letting Arcia play in AAA to get more PT to guys like Parmelee and Plouffe will likely end up with a few more losses, but is also more beneficial to the team long term... and not just in draft position as they learn if they have something in these other guys. I think it would have been better to bring Oswaldo up after trade deadline.

Monkeypaws
06-25-2013, 06:12 PM
Sometimes it is just dumb luck too - look back at any pretty much any draft and there will be busts. Or injuries. Or inexplicable circumstances.

Teams find treasures in the supplemental or 2nd rounds or later as well.

Exceptions abound, but i think you play to win, and you put out your best team to do so.

Drafting in baseball is a less exact science than in other sports IMO. Just ask Brien Taylor.

cmb0252
06-25-2013, 06:50 PM
It sure did take the Rays and the Nationals a long time. The Rays had 10 straight years of 90+ losses before finally getting above .500 in 2008. The Nationals first 8 seasons in Washington saw 7 seasons below .500 and the eighth was at exactly .500. That included back to back 100+ loss seasons.

Prospects are volatile commodities. It isn't the first wave that turns a franchise around. It takes many seasons of losing to accumulate enough good prospects that enough pan out to make a difference.

Once again, every team in all sports have gone through slumps. I was just saying the Royals/Pirates are a very over exaggerated comparison to the Twins.

While prospects are volatile but aren't 90% big leaguers too?

kab21
06-25-2013, 07:28 PM
I'm a prospect and a draft guy but I strongly dislike this idea. If somebody wants to make the argument that you don't sign a bunch of mediocre veterans that will block prospects then that's okay even if it costs you a couple of wins. If someone suggests trading veterans to add minor league talent then that's okay. If someone suggests playing a prospect over a veteran then that's fine. If someone wants the Twins to lose simply to improve draft position then I disagree. I know that you are going to spin this but losing for the sake of losing reinforces a bad precedent.

Okie
06-25-2013, 07:35 PM
Well, I guess I'll come in and add my view: I completely agree that losing more is better, and any time my teams don't have a shot at the playoffs, I cheer against them all year for better draft position. Call me a bad fan or whatever, but that's just what I believe is in the best interest of the team.

amjgt
06-25-2013, 08:06 PM
Also worth noting is the top 10 picks being protected from FA compensation (and deferred to the 2nd round)

CK
06-25-2013, 10:10 PM
Cmb, I'm not going to condone tanking because losing sucks. But, if the Twins take a big slide in the standings in the second half, it will be easier to swallow come draft season of next year.

Having said that, this will be the last year there's an opportunity to be top 8 in the draft. Intriguing and valid question.

Oxtung
06-26-2013, 01:37 AM
Once again, every team in all sports have gone through slumps. I was just saying the Royals/Pirates are a very over exaggerated comparison to the Twins.

While prospects are volatile but aren't 90% big leaguers too?

You were making the point that not all teams are as inept as the Royals and Pirates by saying the Rays and Nationals rebuilt their franchises more quickly. While that is true, the Rays and Nats still took a long time to do it. When a teams strategy is rebuild through prospects only that takes a long time. There are no short cuts.

I don't know how volatile big leaguers are since I've never seen a study. It would be interesting to look at bust rate vs. years played in a graph form. I imagine it would be a parabola with a foci at ~5-6 years. A lot players get cups of coffee and as players get old they certainly bow out but those years in between I wonder if most players successfully remain in the league.

fairweather
06-26-2013, 02:02 AM
Totally understand your point but you cannot jeopardize the integrity of the sport. Furthermore, baseball of all sports is the one in which draft position means the least. Grey may well indeed reach the majors hastily and he may well throw 100 MPH but those same things could be said about Joba Chamberlain just a few years back. Baseball careers more than any other team sports are a marathon. Lasting every possible mile you can is well worth your time. Developing baseball 1st round draft picks is like blooming potential prize winning orchids there's potential to be great but the small intricacies that separate the great from the really good often emerge unexpected and ruin plans long in the works.

AM.
06-26-2013, 05:33 AM
Developing baseball 1st round draft picks is like blooming potential prize winning orchids there's potential to be great but the small intricacies that separate the great from the really good often emerge unexpected and ruin plans long in the works.

Nice analogy, well put.

Vervehound
06-26-2013, 07:30 AM
there's another solution outside of tanking. 1) sell off all of your mediocre veteran talent and get something in return for them. 2) play prospects and anyone with long term upside. 3) if you win, you're setting yourself up for the long term, if you lose you get at bats and innings to guys you have questions about while also improving draft position.

4) the twins are too stubborn an organization to likely consider 1). the fact that they don't know if they're buyers or sellers as of a week ago is utterly laughable. this team is smoke and mirrors at this point and the concept of selling high doesn't seem in their fabric.

mike wants wins
06-26-2013, 08:21 AM
I agree with vervehound......go all in on the rebuild. You aren't tanking, you are still playing the best players you have, they just might not be ready (or good) yet. But that's as much about playing for the future and getting guys' feet wet, and seeing what you have as anything else that might happen.

silverslugger
06-26-2013, 08:26 AM
This same issue is discussed ad nauseum by NFL fans every December and January. Even in the NFL where drafted players have a much more immediate impact, the consensus is that you never intentionally lose a game just to improve your draft status. Let's leave this silly talk for the NBA.

Jeremy Nygaard
06-26-2013, 08:37 AM
Carlos. Rodon.

(And there is no way the Twins can outsuck the suckiest. Best thing since Strasburg... and he'll be better long-term.)

If the Twins were in the mix for #1 on Sept 1, they should absolutely play guys 26-40 as much as possible. But they won't be.

Dman
06-26-2013, 08:38 AM
I don't think the players that play the game can try to lose. You get where they are by being a highly competitive presence. Management could set the team up to lose but even that would not be a guarantee that the team would lose given that the players would be trying to win.

I am going to take the low road on this one despite though despite the facts. I just feel whether justifiable or not that the higher draft picks tend to have greater superstar potential. Although there are many, many examples of this assumption not working out I still believe picking higher throughout all rounds not to mention in the International draft is more advantageous than picking lower.

If my team isn't likely to crack 500 then I am rooting for the players to do well but for the team to somehow lose. I think this season might be the last one where the twins will have a chance at the top 5 and then I think they are on their way up again if they find the pitching they need.

beckmt
06-26-2013, 09:04 AM
Do not like losing for the sake of losing. It can become a culture. Twins are far closer to rebuilding than most of the examples here. Most of the bad examples sold off their high price talent almost all the time. Their was no core to help the young players get over the hump. Here there is the core, hope it works out. That said selling parts that will not be of use 2 - 3 years from now should be done if you can get a good return. Unless that player really wants to be here, then it becomes an issue of what example are you setting. This is why the Morneau issue is such a problem.

Winston Smith
06-26-2013, 09:28 AM
This is not a playoff team and TR isn't going to sign big time free agents to get there. He will try building with the draft and minor league signings, trades. (kind of on the cheap) The point isn't to play to lose but to play the guys that might be there in a few years that will help you win. We have a bunch of guys that are still big question marks and need to play full time. Guys like Willy, Doumit, Carroll and even Morneau are not the long term answer. So get what you can for these guys so young guys that may be the answer can play full time. Find out what you have and what you need to get if they aren't the answer. The side benifit of this is you likely will lose a few more games and get higher picks but the real benifit is you find out what the young guys can do.

diehardtwinsfan
06-26-2013, 10:16 AM
there's another solution outside of tanking. 1) sell off all of your mediocre veteran talent and get something in return for them. 2) play prospects and anyone with long term upside. 3) if you win, you're setting yourself up for the long term, if you lose you get at bats and innings to guys you have questions about while also improving draft position.

4) the twins are too stubborn an organization to likely consider 1). the fact that they don't know if they're buyers or sellers as of a week ago is utterly laughable. this team is smoke and mirrors at this point and the concept of selling high doesn't seem in their fabric.

Basically what I was saying, though much more articulate. It isn't tanking per say, but I suspect the end result would be a bit of a drop in the standings.

gunnarthor
06-26-2013, 10:31 AM
I kind of felt the same way as CMB but then Shipley fell to #15 in this last draft, Appel fell to 8 in 2012 and Russell fell to 11. In 2011, Fernandez went 11, Bradley went 7 (seriously loaded draft). Sale went #13 in 2010 and so on. The draft is so unpredictable that the Twins should get a good player regardless if their scouts are doing their job. The elite talent will go in the first few spots but there usually isn't more than 3-4 elite players in a draft and we can't lose enough to catch up with a top 4 spot.

My guess is the Twins won't finish with the 11th worst record. My guess is they'll finish around 7 or 8 and I do think Ryan will make several deadline trades. (I think the Twins are better than the White Sox, Seattle, Houston, Miami, Mets and Cubs for sure. After that, it's closer).

(Oh, and I wanted Stewart over Gray).

Dman
06-26-2013, 10:55 AM
I don't think the players that play the game can try to lose. You get where they are by being a highly competitive presence. Management could set the team up to lose but even that would not be a guarantee that the team would lose given that the players would be trying to win.

I am going to take the low road on this one despite though despite the facts. I just feel whether justifiable or not that the higher draft picks tend to have greater superstar potential. Although there are many, many examples of this assumption not working out I still believe picking higher throughout all rounds not to mention in the International draft is more advantageous than picking lower.

If my team isn't likely to crack 500 then I am rooting for the players to do well but for the team to somehow lose. I think this season might be the last one where the twins will have a chance at the top 5 and then I think they are on their way up again if they find the pitching they need.

howieramone
06-26-2013, 11:34 AM
there's another solution outside of tanking. 1) sell off all of your mediocre veteran talent and get something in return for them. 2) play prospects and anyone with long term upside. 3) if you win, you're setting yourself up for the long term, if you lose you get at bats and innings to guys you have questions about while also improving draft position.

4) the twins are too stubborn an organization to likely consider 1). the fact that they don't know if they're buyers or sellers as of a week ago is utterly laughable. this team is smoke and mirrors at this point and the concept of selling high doesn't seem in their fabric. This is hardly a fact. I've seen nothing that shows any indication that they are buyers and it is a fact several players are being openly shopped. The rebuilding process is a process and will take time. We're in much better shape than we were a year ago, and I've seen no indication this momentum is anywhere near slowing. Also, I know for a fact, the concept of selling high is not foreign to the Twins. I think Brock said it best recently. Posters fall into the trap where they feel they know more than GM's etc. and have the ability to hose said GM's in trades. It's another fact, that no poster has ever done this.

drjim
06-26-2013, 11:52 AM
I'm against the full on blow it up rebuild being advocated by a few people here.

First, I like it when the Twins win.

Second, this team is further along than we may have thought gokng into the season. Competing as soon as next year might be realistic.

Third, some of the guys mentioned in these trades could very much contribute to the team next year. In addition, the return for these guys will be minimal. What is the point of trading Doumit? He is signed for a reasonable contract next year, fits a need, isn't blocking a significant prospect, and wont result in much return. He has value to the Twins.

Fourth, I think there is value in a winning culture (or at least a competent culture). The Twins are breaking in several young players this year that will hopefully form a successful core going forward, and I believe that is done easier on a somewhat successful team as opposed to starting from scratch.

I am not opposed to a few smart trades - maybe Willingham and Burton, perhaps some guys that won't be on the roster next year. In short, only players with clear replacements for this year.

Oxtung
06-26-2013, 02:14 PM
I'm against the full on blow it up rebuild being advocated by a few people here.

First, I like it when the Twins win.

Second, this team is further along than we may have thought gokng into the season. Competing as soon as next year might be realistic.

Third, some of the guys mentioned in these trades could very much contribute to the team next year. In addition, the return for these guys will be minimal. What is the point of trading Doumit? He is signed for a reasonable contract next year, fits a need, isn't blocking a significant prospect, and wont result in much return. He has value to the Twins.

Fourth, I think there is value in a winning culture (or at least a competent culture). The Twins are breaking in several young players this year that will hopefully form a successful core going forward, and I believe that is done easier on a somewhat successful team as opposed to starting from scratch.

I am not opposed to a few smart trades - maybe Willingham and Burton, perhaps some guys that won't be on the roster next year. In short, only players with clear replacements for this year.

I don't see how. Over the next season we're going to start breaking in a whole bunch of rookies. Meyer, May, Sano, Rosario, Pinto, Santana, Tonkin, Achter should all get looks next year with other possibilities being Baxendale, Danny Ortiz, Cole Johnson, Angel Morales, James Beresford, Logan Darnell, Andrew Albers, Duffey, Wimmers, Vargas, Mejia, Eades, Zach and Tyler Jones. That doesn't even include Hicks, Arcia and Gibson from this year. That is just WAAAAAY to many rookies getting playing time to hope we'll be competitive. What we see this year is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Next year begins the real transfer of power.

cmb0252
06-26-2013, 02:46 PM
I guess some people took what I wrote wrong. I wasn't suggesting the Twins should tank. I'm not saying the Twins should purposefully try to throw games. All I was trying to do is show that with losing, rebuilding, there is value in having a few extra L. While tanking and rebuilding have some similarities, they are not the same thing.

cmb0252
06-26-2013, 02:50 PM
I kind of felt the same way as CMB but then Shipley fell to #15 in this last draft, Appel fell to 8 in 2012 and Russell fell to 11. In 2011, Fernandez went 11, Bradley went 7 (seriously loaded draft). Sale went #13 in 2010 and so on. The draft is so unpredictable that the Twins should get a good player regardless if their scouts are doing their job. The elite talent will go in the first few spots but there usually isn't more than 3-4 elite players in a draft and we can't lose enough to catch up with a top 4 spot.

My guess is the Twins won't finish with the 11th worst record. My guess is they'll finish around 7 or 8 and I do think Ryan will make several deadline trades. (I think the Twins are better than the White Sox, Seattle, Houston, Miami, Mets and Cubs for sure. After that, it's closer).

(Oh, and I wanted Stewart over Gray).

I completely agree. You don't have to get a player from the "expert" proclaimed top tier of talent to get a great player. Your examples definitely prove that. The one thing I will say is that the higher the pick the greater chance of big league success. BA actually did a study right before this last draft showing that the higher the pick the better chance of big league success. Which shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

Vervehound
06-26-2013, 03:04 PM
This is hardly a fact. I've seen nothing that shows any indication that they are buyers and it is a fact several players are being openly shopped. The rebuilding process is a process and will take time. We're in much better shape than we were a year ago, and I've seen no indication this momentum is anywhere near slowing. Also, I know for a fact, the concept of selling high is not foreign to the Twins. I think Brock said it best recently. Posters fall into the trap where they feel they know more than GM's etc. and have the ability to hose said GM's in trades. It's another fact, that no poster has ever done this.

there is empirical evidence that suggests we haven't realized when we've sucked before, see the 2011 season as exhibit a, nor have we proactively shopped guys even when we're out of it (see willingham and others last year). couple that with the comments interspersed on the main board (will not shop correia, etc.) and you seem to have the misguided notion that we think we may be better than we are.

i think we can agree to let their (in)actions speak for themselves and i'd rather have zack wheeler than travis harrison (pseduo kidding).

gunnarthor
06-26-2013, 07:56 PM
there is empirical evidence that suggests we haven't realized when we've sucked before, see the 2011 season as exhibit a, nor have we proactively shopped guys even when we're out of it (see willingham and others last year). couple that with the comments interspersed on the main board (will not shop correia, etc.) and you seem to have the misguided notion that we think we may be better than we are.

i think we can agree to let their (in)actions speak for themselves and i'd rather have zack wheeler than travis harrison (pseduo kidding).

I think you're comparing apples to oranges. We had a different GM in 2011. Ryan has been known to make trades in seasons like this - he made a bunch of them in the 90s and he also traded Castillo in 2007 when the Twins had a winning record and were 7 games back. He's a realist. He's not afraid to make trades we he has the opportunity and he hasn't been bullied into making bad ones. The Twins didn't have to make any moves at the deadline last year. The best rumor out there for Willingham was a #4 type starter - Sean Gilmartin was floated around a bit. So, he didn't see a deal he liked so he kept Span and Willingham and Burton and he might make another move this deadline or this offseason.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-26-2013, 08:29 PM
I really don't think tanking exists in the majors. Obviously, you could argue that selling at the deadline is, but really, teams want to win whatever they can get. Every player will try their best and do what it takes to win. I think the whole "tanking" is a fan perception and that's okay. Do you really want your team to lose for it to pay off larger dividends later? Or do you want to win despite the nearly non-existent chances of competing for a pennant now? Personally, I like tWINs and in baseball the incentives for "tanking" aren't substantial. Even at the end of an unsuccessful season (when they're eliminated), I want to win as much as they possibly can.